Twelve-year-old CEO, high school students pitch companies on Project Pitch It

Josiah Love. Image courtesy of Project Pitch It.

Last updated on May 19th, 2023 at 08:07 am

A 12-year-old CEO pitched his tech startup to the Project Pitch It moguls on the latest episode of the Shark Tank-style television show.

Racine resident Josiah Love is the founder of JML Tech Studios. He is a student at Wisconsin Connections Academy in Appleton. His company is focused on creating NFT trading cards, AI coding and video games.

“My NFT trading cards are like baseball cards, but they’re digital and you can never get them duplicated,” said Love.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of digital certificate saying you own the rights to a specific product, whether that product be music, art or some other physical good.

JML Tech Studios aims to be a creative space that is supportive of all people in the technology community. Love creates his NFTs using Python code and sells them at a price point of $34. He’s sold 50 NFT trading cards so far.

He said NFTs provide consumers with more value and benefits than something like a traditional trading card.

Fond du Lac North High School students Ayden Fowler and Lillian Goeckerman also pitched their company this week. They are the founders of Commah, a startup that creates plant-based alternatives to air freshener products already on the market. None of Commah’s products contain toxic chemicals. The company has seen $10,000 in sales since incorporating last October.

Fowler and Goeckerman created Commah through their high school’s business course, which taught them how to start their own company.

“Since entering the wholesale market last January, we’ve grown tremendously from just a small, local retailer to one of the largest supermarkets in the Midwest: Festival Foods,” said Fowler.

Over the next two years, Fowler and Goeckerman expect their company to bring in more than $80,000 in revenue and the duo is focused on hiring employees who can help them keep the company going as they attend college in the fall. After graduating, they’ll plan on continuing to scale the business.

A trio of student entrepreneurs from Kimberly High School also appeared on Project Pitch It. Ryan Halada, Kade Dunham and Riley Schmidt are the founders of Huva, a clothing company that has created a sweatshirt with a heated hood to keep customers warm all year. Huva sweatshirts have five internal heating pads located near the ears, neck and back of the head. Each sweatshirt, which is powered by a battery pack, has a double charging port to allow wearers to charge their phones at the same time.

“None of our competitors have advanced out to a heated hood yet. We are going to try to be the first product on the market that offers a heated hood,” said Schmidt.

The Huva team is looking to fully develop its website to start selling sweatshirts online, and then potentially branch out to Amazon and other brick-and-mortar retailers.

Each student contestant received a $1,500 prize as well as exposure on Project Pitch It and an introduction to this year’s moguls and guest moguls.

The next and final episode of this season of Project Pitch It airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on WISN-TV Channel 12 in Milwaukee. BizTimes Media is a media partner for Project Pitch It.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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